There are two laws that you have to pay attention to when you are considering filing a medical malpractice or product liability action. These laws are set in place both to protect the accused and the accuser. By waiting too long to file a claim, you may lose your right to file.

First, there is the statute of limitations. This law requires you to file an action within a certain period of time after the action “accrues.” Generally, the action accrues at the time of injury. However, this period may be extended if the injury could not have been reasonably discovered any sooner, or if the victim suffered from a legal disability, including being a minor at the time the harm was inflicted. In Texas, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and product liability claims (including those involving wrongful death) is two years from the date of injury.

Second, you need to be aware of the statute of repose. Under the Alabama statute, no product liability claim can be commenced against a manufacturer or seller of a defective product more than 2 years after the date of sale ( Alabama Statute § 6-2-38). Like a lot of states, Alabama has a separate statute of limitations that applies specifically to medical malpractice cases. The standard deadline is set by Code of Alabama section 6-5-482, which gives you two years to get your lawsuit filed in the state’s court system, starting from the date on which the alleged malpractice was committed.

Point in case – don’t wait long before filing a pharmaceutical injury claim. After long periods of time, evidence tends to diminish and it is more difficult to determine an accurate ruling in your case. The incident is no longer fresh in anyone’s mind and the person at fault for the accident may have gotten rid of evidence after such a long period of time. In most cases of medical malpractice, you have 2 years after the date of your injury to file.